A newbie's question "Variant Chess Effects" was closed as "opinion-based" by a dogpile of experienced members, and as usual there was no welcome or explanation given. So I really don't understand the mentality at work here.

Here's a chess metaphor. In problems, Castling is permitted unless you can prove it's illegal, while En passant is forbidden unless you can prove it's legal. So when someone posts a question, which category does it fall into? I think it falls into the Castling category. The onus is on the experienced member to show why this is not to be permitted.

A few posts are so fragmentary, incorrect, banal or offensive, that they are self-evidently closable without comment. But authors of other ones, like this, who have invested a bit of time and effort to pose the question, deserve more than a block from an apparently trigger-happy mod who apparently had a bad day at work. And if that's not the right interpretation for me to put on the mod behaviour then can the mods please explain. And ideally say hi, and sorry too.

The final irony is that deciding "subjectivity" seems quite subjective. I myself think that the closed question is perfectly capable of being asked in a factual way. There is a risk that mods mistakenly give the impression that anything that asks them to flex their minds in a novel way is frightening, and they must reach for one of the regular excuses for closing down this line of thinking: off-topic, opinion-based, or whatever.

And again: if this impression is not correct, there is an easy solution: the experienced members should explain their decisions.

Thanks for your time.

  • 2
    Here's a comment from physics.stackexchange, which I love: "Welcome to this forum [xxxx] - I hope you will enjoy what you learn here; I see you already have some good answers. Now, people, [xxxx] is a new contributor, so try to rein in your irritation with what to you may be obvious. We all started out ignorant, and it was mostly by asking naive questions that we progressed, at least to start with. At least in my case, if I hadn't asked loads of "stupid" questions, I wouldn't have known a fraction of what I know today - and I still ask that kind of question all the time."
    – Laska
    Oct 9, 2019 at 13:47
  • 3
    The fact that a definite answer is not yet known does not mean the question is opinion-based. I think many people are struggling with this. "Are there aliens?" is not an opinion-based question, it's a question we have not yet found an answer.
    – David
    Oct 14, 2019 at 9:53
  • 2
    There's no mod closing the question though. They are regular users just like you and everyone else who has enough rep (500) to close a question.
    – Andrew T.
    Oct 19, 2019 at 17:33
  • 1
    @Andrew T. Yes I was using the term “mod” in a slack way. Thanks for pointing it out. To what should I correct it?
    – Laska
    Oct 19, 2019 at 19:03


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